I feel free.
I don't feel pain in my legs, much to my relief.
But I feel some kind of other pain.
It's in my heart.
And I've been feeling it ever since I became this crimson butterfly.
Thank you, I whispered.
Mio just stared at me as I flew up. Up. And away. "MAYU!" she screamed.
But I ignored her and continued to fly away. Through the forest where we used to play. All the way up to the sky. With a bunch of other random butterflies.
Hold on. Wait... why am I flying away with a bunch of random strangers? I don't remember much before becoming a butterfly. Where's my body? Oh yeah, it was thrown into a pi- WAIT, INTO A PIT? With a bunch of old men? Ewwwww.
Oh my gosh, I have to get my body out of there. I don't wanna be separated from my dear sister. My dear Mio.
But it's too late. You can't escape the Hellish Abyss.
I feel like I've been possessed...
I kept fluttering away with the rest of the butterflies. I still kept my eye on Mio, who was running and crying, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry!"
I was confused. Why was she saying sorry? The accident so long ago wasn't her fault. But why is she still apologizing?
Wait... Now I remember. You killed me, Mio! You strangled me to death, then those blind men threw me into that pit full of old hags. But I didn't even ask you to...
Then who...? Oh my gosh, I HAVE been possessed. By this one girl... I kept calling Mio "Yae" for some unknown reason. Who the hell possessed my body without my permission?
I hate this sixth sense. It doesn't do you any good. I mean, who would wanna see things that no one else can see?
Wait a second... SAE? That evil maniac with the creepy laughter? HER? She's CRAZY. Too crazy.
Now I'm floating and bouncing in the air. Staying in one place, with my eyes still on my dear sister. Mio's burying herself in her hands, crying her heart out. She's on her knees.
Should I keep flying with those random butterflies to who knows where? No. I'm flying back to Mio.
Mio! I'm coming back for you! I don't want to leave. Look up! Hello?
Now I'm in front of her. Mio doesn't seem to notice.
1... 2... 3...
"Boo," I whispered.
Mio jumped and screamed. I landed on her nose to silence her. Then I asked, "Can you hear me?"
She crossed her eyes to see me properly and stuttered, "M-Mayu? Is that y-you?" She sniffled and transferred me on her finger.
"Yes, Mio. Look, there's no need to apologize, okay? It wasn't your fault."
"What? Oh that? Yes it was. I didn't want to listen to Sae, but-"
"Shh, it's okay. I'm here now."
Mio started to dry her tear-stained face. Then she smiled for the first time ever since we've been trapped in the Lost Village.
I smiled back (wait, butterflies can smile, right?) and said, "Let's go home."
We started walking - well at least Mio did (I flew) - back to our uncle's house until Mio stopped in her tracks. She looked up to me and asked, "Wait Mayu... how are we going to explain your...transformation?"
"Just tell Uncle Kei you found me in the forest and that I'm your new pet butterfly. But don't tell him it's me or else he'll go crazy," I said after a few minutes of thinking.
"But what if he spazzes out when he finds out you're the butterfly?"
"Like I said, he'll go crazy."
"Okay," Mio muttered. She started to play around with her bangs for a little while. Once we got to Uncle Kei's house, her bangs were in the same position as mine (well, at least before I died).
"We're finally home. Away from that nightmare," I sighed happily as I rested on Mio's shoulder.
"I know," Mio smiled. She opened the door slowly and looked left to right to see where Uncle Kei was. No sign of him. Where could he be?
I flew away from Mio's shoulder and started examining the living room. He's not there.
I checked his workroom. He's not there either...
I looked in the kitchen... and found him sitting at the counter, picking at his infamous pot noodles with his favorite plastic chopsticks. He looked so lonely and extremely worried because he knew he hadn't found us yet.
But now, we were here. To cast him out of his worries.
When I flew back to Mio, she looked at Uncle Kei with a look of relief on her face and whispered, "Mayu, do you think we should tell him we're here?"
"No, we shouldn't," I replied sarcastically. She rolled her eyes and said, "Okay, I'll follow you into the kitchen. Now go."
I took flight from Mio's shoulder and started flying straight ahead, at full speed. It was fun flying freely in the air until...
I bumped into the back of Uncle Kei's head and plummeted to the ground. La, la la, la la ~ Mayu in wonderland ~
Uncle Kei scratched his head and muttered, "Gosh, this is the third time today... What the he-" He looked back, only to find Mio scooping me up and hiding me in her hands right before he got a chance to see me.
"Mi-Mio? Is that y-you?" Uncle Kei cried. He studied her face, then he touched her cheek gently to make sure he wasn't dreaming. After he was finally convinced, he got off of his favorite stool and pulled Mio and I into a warm and firm hug that seemed to last for an eternity. Uncle Kei released us a minute later and asked, "Where's Mayu?"
Mio looked at me, with a look on her eyes that said, What do we tell him?
I whispered, "They couldn't find me, remember?"
She looked back up at Uncle Kei and hesitated, then she finally spoke. "Well... they couldn't really find her, so I came back...with a butterfly." She opened her hands and put me right in Uncle Kei's face for him to see.
He just looked at her as if she was the craziest person in the world. A sigh escaped his lips, then he said, "Mio, get rid of the butterfly. Please. You don't need it."
Panic spread everywhere on Mio's face. I tried to communicate with her through our minds and said, You're on your own with this one, Mio. I can't talk. D:
Somehow she got the message and started backing away from Uncle Kei, then she cried, "Make me." She sprinted all the way up to our room and locked the door before Uncle Kei got the chance to snatch me away from her. Mio rested her back on the door, then she tried to come up with a plan. But before she could tell me what to do, Uncle Kei unlocked the door with his secret key and demanded Mio to get rid of me. I flew to a safe place under the red bedspread before he could spot me.
"Give it to me. Now." He held his hand out and opened and closed his hands a few times. Mio opened the door for Uncle Kei and put his hand in his face, then she took his key from his other hand and pushed him out of the room, then slammed the door and locked it again.
From outside, I could hear Uncle Kei cursing under his breath, saying, "Dangit Mio, that was my only key. Give it back!" He pounded on the door furiously, crying for the key. Weirdo.
Mio rolled her eyes and started to think again. She said, "You know, Mayu... hiding is a pretty good idea, don'tcha think?"
"No, really Mio? But I don't want to hide for the rest of my life in our bedroom... He needs to find out somehow." I started flying around again, wanting a little space for myself. I looked around the room, remembering how girly it was before we turned fifteen. The whole bedroom was decorated in a theme of crimson butterflies, with white curtains, a red lampshade, baby pink bedspreads, and butterfly pillows, of course. But now, it was just simply white, with a little red there, and a little brown over here. And maybe some black.
"I don't think it's such a good idea to keep your identity a secret," Mio said. "But then if Uncle Kei found out, then he'd be crazier than he already is."
"Exactly, so don't tell him or else he'll die of insanity. Keep your mouth shut."
Mio changed into her brown pajamas and put me on her slim finger. "You wanna sleep with me tonight?" she asked.
"Aren't you gonna shower first? We've been in the woods for a week," I sneered.
She yawned and pulled her covers over her head. "Maybe tomorrow morning." I settled down on her pillow and closed my wings. "Goodnight, Mio."
"Goodnight, Mayu." As she started to snore, I could hear footsteps shuffling from our door. But I ignored it and nestled next to Mio's ear.
Little did we know that Uncle Kei had heard everything about our dirty little secret.